dpkg-deb <root
dpkg-deb(1)                                 dpkg suite                                dpkg-deb(1)

NAME
       dpkg-deb - Debian package archive (.deb) manipulation tool

SYNOPSIS
       dpkg-deb [option...] command

DESCRIPTION
       dpkg-deb packs, unpacks and provides information about Debian archives.

       Use dpkg to install and remove packages from your system.

       You  can  also  invoke  dpkg-deb by calling dpkg with whatever options you want to pass to
       dpkg-deb. dpkg will spot that you wanted dpkg-deb and run it for you.

       For most commands taking an input archive argument, the archive can be read from  standard
       input if the archive name is given as a single minus character (-); otherwise lack of sup‐
       port will be documented in their respective command description.

COMMANDS
       -b, --build directory [archive|directory]
              Creates a debian archive from the filesystem tree stored  in  directory.  directory
              must  have a DEBIAN subdirectory, which contains the control information files such
              as the control file itself. This directory will not appear in the binary  package's
              filesystem archive, but instead the files in it will be put in the binary package's
              control information area.

              Unless you specify --nocheck, dpkg-deb will read DEBIAN/control and  parse  it.  It
              will  check  it  for  syntax errors and other problems, and display the name of the
              binary package being built.  dpkg-deb will also check the permissions of the  main‐
              tainer scripts and other files found in the DEBIAN control information directory.

              If  no  archive  is  specified  then  dpkg-deb will write the package into the file
              directory.deb.

              If the archive to be created already exists it will be overwritten.

              If the second argument is a directory then dpkg-deb will write to  the  file  pack‐
              age_version_arch.deb, or package_version.deb if no Architecture field is present in
              the package control file. When a target directory is specified, rather than a file,
              the  --nocheck  option  may not be used (since dpkg-deb needs to read and parse the
              package control file to determine which filename to use).

       -I, --info archive [control-file-name...]
              Provides information about a binary package archive.

              If no control-file-names are specified then it will print a summary of the contents
              of the package as well as its control file.

              If  any control-file-names are specified then dpkg-deb will print them in the order
              they were specified; if any of the components weren't  present  it  will  print  an
              error message to stderr about each one and exit with status 2.

       -W, --show archive
              Provides  information about a binary package archive in the format specified by the
              --showformat argument. The default format displays the package's name  and  version
              on one line, separated by a tabulator.

       -f, --field archive [control-field-name...]
              Extracts control file information from a binary package archive.

              If no control-field-names are specified then it will print the whole control file.

              If any are specified then dpkg-deb will print their contents, in the order in which
              they appear in the control file. If more than one control-field-name  is  specified
              then dpkg-deb will precede each with its field name (and a colon and space).

              No errors are reported for fields requested but not found.

       -c, --contents archive
              Lists  the  contents of the filesystem tree archive portion of the package archive.
              It is currently produced in the format generated by tar's verbose listing.

       -x, --extract archive directory
              Extracts the filesystem tree from a package archive into the specified directory.

              Note that extracting a package to the root directory will not result in  a  correct
              installation! Use dpkg to install packages.

              directory  (but  not its parents) will be created if necessary, and its permissions
              modified to match the contents of the package.

       -X, --vextract archive directory
              Is like --extract (-x) with --verbose (-v) which prints  a  listing  of  the  files
              extracted as it goes.

       -R, --raw-extract archive directory
              Extracts the filesystem tree from a package archive into a specified directory, and
              the control information files into a DEBIAN subdirectory of the specified directory
              (since dpkg 1.16.1).

              The target directory (but not its parents) will be created if necessary.

              The  input  archive  is  not (currently) processed sequentially, so reading it from
              standard input (-) is not supported.

       --ctrl-tarfile archive
              Extracts the control data from a binary package and sends it to standard output  in
              tar format (since dpkg 1.17.14). Together with tar(1) this can be used to extract a
              particular control file from a package archive.  The input archive will  always  be
              processed sequentially.

       --fsys-tarfile archive
              Extracts  the  filesystem  tree data from a binary package and sends it to standard
              output in tar format. Together with tar(1) this can be used to extract a particular
              file  from  a  package archive.  The input archive will always be processed sequen‐
              tially.

       -e, --control archive [directory]
              Extracts the control information files from a package archive  into  the  specified
              directory.

              If no directory is specified then a subdirectory DEBIAN in the current directory is
              used.

              The target directory (but not its parents) will be created if necessary.

       -?, --help
              Show the usage message and exit.

       --version
              Show the version and exit.

OPTIONS
       --showformat=format
              This option is used to specify the format of the output --show  will  produce.  The
              format is a string that will be output for each package listed.

              The string may reference any status field using the “${field-name}” form, a list of
              the valid fields can be easily produced using -I on the same  package.  A  complete
              explanation  of  the  formatting options (including escape sequences and field tab‐
              bing) can be found in the explanation of the --showformat option in dpkg-query(1).

              The default for this field is “${Package}\t${Version}\n”.

       -zcompress-level
              Specify which compression level to use on the compressor backend, when  building  a
              package  (default is 9 for gzip and bzip2, 6 for xz and lzma).  The accepted values
              are 0-9 with: 0 being mapped to compressor none for gzip and  0  mapped  to  1  for
              bzip2.  Before  dpkg  1.16.2 level 0 was equivalent to compressor none for all com‐
              pressors.

       -Scompress-strategy
              Specify which compression strategy to use on the compressor backend, when  building
              a  package  (since  dpkg 1.16.2). Allowed values are none (since dpkg 1.16.4), fil‐
              tered, huffman, rle and fixed for gzip (since dpkg 1.17.0) and extreme for xz.

       -Zcompress-type
              Specify which compression type to use when building a package.  Allowed values  are
              gzip,  xz  (since dpkg 1.15.6), bzip2 (deprecated), lzma (since dpkg 1.14.0; depre‐
              cated), and none (default is xz).

       --uniform-compression
              Specify that the same compression parameters should be used for all archive members
              (i.e.  control.tar  and  data.tar; since dpkg 1.17.6).  Otherwise only the data.tar
              member will use those parameters. The only supported compression types  allowed  to
              be uniformly used are none, gzip and xz.

       --deb-format=format
              Set  the  archive  format  version used when building (since dpkg 1.17.0).  Allowed
              values are 2.0 for the new format, and 0.939000 for the old one (default is 2.0).

              The old archive format is less easily parsed by non-Debian tools and is  now  obso‐
              lete; its only use is when building packages to be parsed by versions of dpkg older
              than 0.93.76 (September 1995), which was released as i386 a.out only.

       --new  This is a legacy alias for --deb-format=2.0.

       --old  This is a legacy alias for --deb-format=0.939000.

       --nocheck
              Inhibits dpkg-deb --build's usual checks on the proposed contents  of  an  archive.
              You can build any archive you want, no matter how broken, this way.

       -v, --verbose
              Enables  verbose output (since dpkg 1.16.1).  This currently only affects --extract
              making it behave like --vextract.

       -D, --debug
              Enables debugging output. This is not very interesting.

ENVIRONMENT
       TMPDIR If set, dpkg-deb will use it as the directory in which to  create  temporary  files
              and directories.

NOTES
       Do  not  attempt  to  use  just  dpkg-deb to install software! You must use dpkg proper to
       ensure that all the files are correctly placed and the package's scripts run and its  sta‐
       tus and contents recorded.

BUGS
       dpkg-deb -I package1.deb package2.deb does the wrong thing.

       There  is  no  authentication  on  .deb files; in fact, there isn't even a straightforward
       checksum.  (Higher level tools like APT support  authenticating  .deb  packages  retrieved
       from  a given repository, and most packages nowadays provide an md5sum control file gener‐
       ated by debian/rules. Though this is not directly supported by the lower level tools.)

SEE ALSO
       deb(5), deb-control(5), dpkg(1), dselect(1).

Debian Project                              2014-08-20                                dpkg-deb(1)

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